RELATIONSHIPS10 Surprisingly Common Reasons Men Initiate Divorce (self.RedPillWomen)

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I think the biggest relationship problems caused by women, today, have not gone unnoticed in the RPW community. Not only does society blame men for EVERYTHING, but we also focus far too little on STAYING married. I

I thought this Woman's Day article - http://www.womansday.com/relationships/dating-marriage/advice/a7164/reasons-for-divorce/ - offered some great insight into why MEN file for divorce, though women are statistically the initiators. In particular, I liked number 4. I am constantly seeing "husband are like children, har, har, har" memes in my newsfeed, but not once have I seen the reverse. Perhaps if more women cared about the viewpoint of the men, these things wouldn't be such a problem, though.


As you'd expect, "She cheated!" is one big reason guys take the speed ramp to Splitsville. But every year, faithful women get blindsided by divorce papers. What gives? We asked relationship experts about the other grievances once-happy husbands cite for divorcing—their unexpected answers give clues on how to keep your marriage solid.

  1. You've let yourself go. Men understand that women change over time. But there's a difference between putting on weight and getting so big that the Discovery Channel would be intrigued if you washed up on a beach. And is your car the only thing you wax? "I have one client whose partner has a chin hair that bothers him so much," says Sherry Amatenstein, who specializes in couples' therapy in Long Island City, NY. "If you don't care enough to look good for your guy, he wonders if you care about him." Wouldn't you wonder the same if he gave up on his appearance? So banish the granny panties, grey roots and other frumpy fixins'—you'll both feel better.

  2. You always say no. If you're speaking in negatives as often as a two-year-old does, "you become a killjoy," says Amatenstein. "It makes you seem more like his mother—not someone he can have fun with, or, if you do it often enough, wants to be around." Even if you're naysaying for your guy's own good, try to compromise: Maybe he can have a Harley if he promises to always wear a helmet. Hear his wants and your marriage may go the distance.

  3. He's more nagged than nurtured. "If you dig into your husband for every little screw-up or letdown, he'll feel resentful and eventually shut down," says Chicago divorce lawyer Corri Fetman. "Once this happens, good luck getting your husband to voluntarily put forth effort into anything again—including your marriage!" Ditch the fuming, and try some finessing. For instance, is your guy always running late? Set your clocks a few minutes ahead. It's sneaky, but less destructive than getting on his case.

  4. He feels disrespected. Don't follow the husband-bashing humor trend, urges couples' therapist Rosalind Sedacca of West Palm Beach, FL. Resist joking on Facebook about how your favorite basketball fan can't even dribble—and don't rib him in front of friends either. "Your husband will feel belittled," Sedacca warns. "Confidence and security form the foundation of any marriage," she adds. Eventually your man's self-esteem will erode and he'll lose his connection to you. "Meanwhile, there may be other women who are willing to treat him with admiration," Sedacca adds. See where this one's going? Nowhere good!

  5. He doesn't have a marriage mentor. If your husband's pals make Charlie Sheen look like a choir boy, he needs some buddies who'll raise the bar, says relationship coach and minister Don Nations, of Sarasota, FL. "If more men had a friend with a solid marriage to whom they could talk, someone who could listen and offer counsel, they'd be less likely to seek a divorce," he explains. Your house of worship can fill the void: "Many offer marriage workshops and discussion groups," Nations says. Or pursue friendships with other happy couples—their dedication may inspire you both.

  6. You aren't his financial partner. If you two can't get on the same page about what to do with your money, it can cause a marriage meltdown, Amatenstein says, "because of the behaviors it leads to, like engaging in power struggles and keeping secrets, like big purchases, from each other." The remedy? Sit together and make up a list of dreams you can both agree on, whether it's to retire early or travel more, so you're working toward shared goals. If you really can't find common ground, speak to a financial advisor.

  7. You never let him feel like he's Superman. "Men stay in a marriage as long as they feel it's possible to be their spouse's salvation," says Tracy Thomas, PhD, a licensed psychologist and relationship coach in San Francisco. Praise your husband when opportunities arise, but don't say "good job," Thomas adds. "It's demeaning, as if he's a little boy." Instead, be specific—for example, tell him, "When you call me during the day, it makes me so happy to hear your voice," or "When you shovel the snow for us, it makes me feel so cared for!" Appreciating his everyday heroism can help you through marriage's rough spots.

  8. You disagree about how to raise your children. Maybe he's a softie who buys the kids treats, while you fear they'll never learn the value of money. Perhaps he believes in curfews, but you favor free-range kids. "Get on the same page as much as you can, so you don't undermine or resent each other," Amatenstein says. Hammer our mutually acceptable policies about bedtimes, homework and consequences for misbehavior. And before you veto his viewpoint, see where he's coming from (maybe he grew up in a dicey neighborhood, so being home by sunset was a way to stay safe). Give in sometimes, as long as his way won't hurt anyone—"he'll feel that his opinions and feelings matter to you," says Amatenstein. And that's crucial for any relationship.

  9. He feels neglected. Life pulls you in different directions, sure. But "focusing all your time and energy on your kids or career, and not at all on your husband, emasculates him and makes him feel as interesting as old furniture," cautions Fetman. Carve out a few minutes daily to talk to, listen to and laugh only with him. The best time? "When your guy is most likely to open up, whether it's while relaxing on the couch with a beer, or during pillow talk at bedtime," Fetman recommends. "Try talking about things that have nothing to do with the kids, schedules or anything stressful. Make it fun."

  10. Blended-family drama. If his children from a previous relationship don't like you, your own couplehood is in danger. "He understandably may feel intense loyalty to his kids—after all, partners may come and go but children are forever," Amatenstein points out. Make it clear to your husband that you'd love to be a part of the kids' lives, and that no matter what, you know he loves and needs to see them. Don't try to take their mother's place—and never, ever badmouth her in front of them. Ask your hubby for his help in portraying you to the children in the best possible light. With time and a little luck, they'll soon see you're someone worth knowing, respecting and maybe even eventually loving.

So, do you feel like these problems are common in our mainstream feminist society? What would you add?

[–]Big_Daddy_PDX 12 points13 points  (0 children)

1,3,4 for me. It should be really easy. Never put your man in a position where he wonders what value you bring to his life. Also, make sure you're acting like the person he wants to grow old with.

[–]Canttakethewhyfromme 10 points11 points  (1 child)

This is a great article, thank you for posting. I'm actually surprised that a lack of sex is not explicitly mentioned. It seems like they are dancing around it (neglecting him, not making him feel appreciated) without stating it. I know this is anecdotal, but I know two couples who separated for basically this reason, even though they also danced around it when talking about it.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That's a good point. Perhaps the author felt it was too obvious for an article about surprising reasons men file for divorce. I hear so many stories about men and women both feeling neglected sexually. I think in an effort to avoid overemphasizing the importance of sex in a marriage, we've begun to downplay it.

[–]Aholahi 8 points9 points  (3 children)

I'd like to add one. Food!!! My husband loves quality food and he really feels loved and appreciated when I take the time to prepare dishes that he likes. For example, he loves to grill, so I try to make sure that there are his favorite cuts of meat ready. He likes trying new foods and flavors too so I also try and make sure that we are eating new dishes frequently. It seems simple but it's so important. Whenever he has to work late, I always have dinner ready when he gets home and I stay and sit with him while he eats and I listen to him talk (usually wants to discuss his work). Taking care of him is my pride and joy and I know he feels the same about caring for me :)

[–]brettfromtibet 6 points7 points  (1 child)

guy here: I can't emphasize enough how important food is. I have almost never dated a woman who cared a thing about cooking. If I met a really great woman who actually cared enough to make good, healthy, interesting food she would be extraordinary... and most likely a keeper.

[–]Capn_Underpants 0 points1 point  (0 children)


My LTR loves to cook and prepare from scratch (makes her own sauces, bakes her own bread, makes her own cheeses etc) and she is good at it. We grow fruits and veg and habe chickens for fresh eggs etc at our place. I never stop telling her how much I love that about her.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The little things are so important. For my guy, the effort to make healthy foods for the both of us has been big. For some men, it might not even be food, but planning interesting activities or finding obscure documentaries. Just knowing what that one thing is means a lot.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9

These led to divorcing my wife after 7 years. These things put it into perspective that while I could put up with tons of bullshit, I still wasn't happy about much of anything we had after year 3 and rarely stood up for these things. I didn't know what my values were being in my early-mid twenties. What's really sad is how quickly I jumped to coasting by for the sake of avoiding divorce.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

It's shocking that modern society has resulted in such a QUICK progression through these items. I'm not excusing the woman who lets herself go after three kids and 20 years, but THREE?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes. During year two, returned from deployment to a wife who had gained more pregnancy weight, probably around 40 more lbs. She told me she had gained 70 lbs... after she gave birth... and she wasn't losing weight at that time either. I was convinced she was low balling, also.

It wasn't until I tried talking to her about my unhappiness with her weight that she shut me out and became an enemy. Only when she decided to leave the relationship (probably at year four) did she actually make progress. She lost about 60 lbs by the time we separated and she's been single for 4-5 years now afaik.

But to be clear, I was a total bitch about a lot of things I never realized were important.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We go to weird extremes about weight in our society. It's either way too important or we're not even allowed to talk about it. My guy and I are very candid about our fitness goals and weight. We talk about it like anything else. I'm sure he'd know my weight on any given day and I'd know his. I hope we're always that honest with each other, so we can avoid that kind of unhappiness.

There's a lot to be said for the fact that you realize you made mistakes. It kind of just sounds like you were totally wrong for each other at the wrong time of life.

[–]youreallmeatanyway 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Let's see how I score..

You've let yourself go

Oh and did she ever. We got married and she was at something like 135-140. When we divorced she was approaching 180. She'd quit wearing makeup, showered less frequently than I'd like. All of this was in large part to her giving in to her chronic depression.

You always say no

Both to sex, and to having fun, her answer was almost always "no", unless it was her idea.

He's more nagged than nurtured

She never did this. Gotta give her credit for that.

He feels disrespected

She never disrespected me publicly, or did so overtly at home. But her constant obstinance and rebelliousness was a sign of lack of respect for me as her husband.

He doesn't have a marriage mentor

I guess this one is on me. I never did have a marriage "mentor", even though my brother and his wife have a great marriage and he'd have been a good mentor.

You aren't his financial partner

Oh man, this was a biggie for me. I have investment goals and she actively hates to even think about money. We kept our finances separate, though, so it didnt cause too much strife.

You never let him feel like he's Superman

She very rarely thanked me for making dinner, even though I had worked all day. Nor did she voice any appreciation for me when she got laid off and I was floating everything.

You disagree about how to raise your children

Yes, to the extent that I wanted to actually have children and she didnt (by the time our marriage ended).

He feels neglected

Yup. She was so withdrawn, due to her depression, that I dont think she really even thought about me much at all.

Blended-family drama

N/A. None of us had children.

[–]fallen_angel_81 1 point2 points  (3 children)

10 is a big one for me. My Step Daughters are 10 and 7. The youngest absolutely adores me, she thinks I'm "cool" and wants to hug me and sit on my lap and probably is more affectionate to me than her Father.

On the other hand, the older one is very cold towards me. Doesn't really interact with me at all. I always try to treat them the same, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to form a relationship with her.

I don't know if it's because she feels disloyal towards her Mother if she is nice to me, or if she feels that I am taking away from the already limited time that they spend with their Dad.

My Partner is very supportive and assures me that I am not the problem, but it's hard when I am trying my best and not getting anywhere with her.

[–]pinkdrawings 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It sounds like you have to stick it out there. Maybe you could offer to take her out on a little "girls day" or something to make her feel special? Just an idea, though!

[–]fallen_angel_81 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sorry for the late reply. Yes I think that's a great idea. Especially with the holidays coming up ☺

[–]RanchingMama 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Having gone through and subsequently divorcing as a result of my ex-husband's affair I can say #7 was an issue for me.

While it doesn't excuse his behavior and doesn't let him off the hook, I can acknowledge that I'm not one to pay compliments easily. I was good at saying "Thank you", but not good at verbal admiration. For him it took actions and words. I was good at one, but not the other. When things got hard that gap probably felt enormous.

Something to learn from.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It's good that you can take something from that and can look for someone whose needs are more compatible next time. My guy is not good with verbal affirmations. I eventually realized that he shows love through his actions and that that's what I prefer if I have to choose. I'd definitely add loyalty into the must haves pile, though.

[–]RanchingMama 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think it's important to look at how I've contributed to any situation good or bad. I don't want to repeat the same mistakes by not being aware of them.